Veteran Driver Holds Best Odds for Sunday’s Race at Dover

Getty Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski race at Darlington

The NASCAR Cup Series season continues on Sunday with a trip to Dover International Speedway. There are several drivers with a history of success at the Monster Mile, but the numbers point to one, in particular, as the favorite. Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson has the best average finish at the one-mile concrete oval.

Larson has made 12 starts at the Monster Mile in his career, winning once in 2019. He also has nine total top-10 finishes and only one outside of the top-15. He finished 25th in a 2016 race. According to information provided to the media by NASCAR, Larson has an average finish of 7.417, best in the Cup Series. He also has an average running position of 10.180, also best in the Cup Series.

“Yeah, I’m pumped to get there. I think it’s this aero package maybe, too,” Larson told media members ahead of Sunday’s race. “Yeah, Dover is just an awesome place, suits my style. Can move around quite a bit. It’s fast, aggressive, and I love it. Ready to get there, and hopefully be one spot better.”

A promising young driver has the second-best stats

According to NASCAR, the second-best average finish at Dover does not belong to Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, or any other proven veteran. It actually belongs to the defending Rookie of the Year.

Cole Custer, the driver of the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Ford Mustang, has only made two starts at Dover in his Cup Series career. However, he has performed well during both outings. He started 21st during the first 2020 race, finishing 11th. He then started 10th in the following race, finishing 10th while Kevin Harvick raced to Victory Lane.

These performances gave Custer an average finish of 10.5, second-best in the Cup Series. Whether the SHR driver maintains this level of performance is unknown, but he will have another opportunity on Sunday. Custer has struggled during the 2021 season, only posting one top-10 finish after winning once in 2020 and reaching the playoffs. Sunday’s race could be his opportunity to turn the season around.

Four drivers sit in a tie for the most active wins at Dover

GettyRyan Newman and Kevin Harvick

Prior to the 2021 season, there was one driver that reigned supreme at Dover International Speedway. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had made 38 starts at the Monster Mile, finishing top-five 18 times and winning 11 times. He was the best at the one-mile track, but he retired to pursue a career in IndyCar.

With Johnson no longer active in the Cup Series, there are four drivers that sit in a tie for the most wins at the track. Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. all have three wins at Dover. Newman last won at the track in 2004 while Harvick won in 2020.

Truex last reached Victory Lane at Dover in 2019, holding off Alex Bowman in the Gander RV 400. Busch, on the other hand, last won in 2017 during a playoff race at the Monster Mile. He held off Chase Elliott and Johnson to move on to the next round.

The Drydene 400 takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race while MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide audio coverage. Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Bowyer will call the action from the booth with Larry McReynolds providing analysis from the Fox Sports studio.

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